Seeking Solutions for Global Challenges Award
Number of recipients
In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities.
This award is designed to enable U.S. scholars and professionals to conduct research and/or teach in any discipline and/or conduct professional projects on topics of current and global importance at any Finnish institution for a period of two to six months.
The Fulbright Finland Foundation operates under the motto “Together Shaping the Future”, and its vision is to “empower the minds that will find global solutions to tomorrow’s challenges by fostering academic and professional expertise and excellence in leadership”. The award was created to support the Foundation’s vision.
The award is meant for scholars and professionals who want to have an impact on the future and make a difference by finding solutions to current and global challenges through their research, teaching or professional projects. The proposed Fulbright project should focus on a timely topic of global importance and produce benefits of significance to a wider community. Projects that are focused on a local level that have the ability to address international and global challenges are welcomed. Projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are encouraged.
Academic candidates are expected to teach and/or participate in research work according to the agreement between the candidate and the host. Likewise, candidates pursuing a professional project should discuss the content of the project with the host.
For teaching/research awards, applicants should discuss the teaching/research ratio with the host institution before requesting an invitation letter (e.g. lectures, modules or entire courses).
Project focus areas could include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Climate Change
- Arctic Cooperation
- Circular Economy
- Energy and resources
Emerging Technologies & Hybrid Threats
- Artificial Intelligence
- Media Literacy, Disinformation, and Societal Resilience
Managing Migration & Humanitarian Crises
- Displaced Persons, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers
- Irregular Migration
- Economic Migrants
Governance, Peace, and Wellbeing
- Equitable Societies
- Human Rights and Inclusive Societies
- Women in Society
- Preventing Radicalization
- Peace Mediation
- Education and innovation
- Global health
Any appropriate Finnish higher education institution, research center/institute or other applicable institutions to your specific project.
Candidates are expected to secure an affiliation with a Finnish institution and include a letter of invitation in the application. Assistance in locating possible host institutions and making connections is available from the Fulbright Finland Foundation if needed.
Read also our tips for finding a host university in Finland.
Preferably grants begin in August/September 2023, or January 2024, or must be separately agreed upon with the host institution and the Fulbright Finland Foundation. The academic year runs from September through mid-May (fall semester: September to mid-December; spring semester: January to mid-May).
The Finnish host institution can give details on the term structure and teaching periods.
The Flex Award is designed for scholars who require multiple visits to the host country. This option allows grants to be conducted over two or three short segments. Applicants must select Flex in the application form, and clearly describe their plans for Flex in their project statement, including a project timeline. Flex grantees may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host-country academic community.
Teaching/research applicants should discuss details regarding teaching/research ratio, number and level of courses, modules or lectures taught, etc. with the host institution. The host institution should include this information in detail in the letter of invitation along with the length and dates of the proposed visit.
Housing for the scholar and his/her family is expected to be arranged and paid for by the host institution. This information should be confirmed in the letter of invitation. Potential hosts can refer to these instructions when writing a letter of invitation.
NOTE: Late June, July and early August are traditionally summer vacation months in Finland and responses to inquiries may be delayed. Applicants are advised to contact the Finnish host institution well ahead of time to solicit an invitation letter for their application.
During the selection process, some applicants may be invited to a Zoom call in mid-January 2023.
The award is open for both academics and professionals. For academic research and/or teaching projects PhD or other terminal degree is required. For professional projects PhD is not required but the applicant should have significant professional experience in their field.
Proposals for medical research involving clinical training, patient care or patient contact are not eligible.
In addition to the general evaluation criteria, candidates in all Fulbright programs are reviewed on the project’s contribution to the objectives of the Fulbright Program as well as on the adaptability and suitability of the candidate to act as a Fulbright Ambassador for the U.S. in Finland.
The monthly grant is 5,000 EUR (approx. $5,700), paid out in euro in monthly installments.
Please note: amounts in USD are subject to change due to currency fluctuations.
There are no separate allowances for accompanying dependents.
Housing for the scholar and their family is expected to be arranged and paid for by the host institution. This information should be confirmed in the letter of invitation. Applicants should communicate their housing needs to the host institution during the application process so that appropriate housing can be arranged for them.
A one-time travel allowance of $1,800 is provided.
For Flex grants: round trip travel will be included for each portion of the grant.
Also, a residence permit allowance is provided - based on the actual permit fees (incl. grantee and accompanying family members).
No dependent tuition allowance is offered, but K-12 education in Finland is generally free or heavily subsidized (some special schools, such as private international schools, may charge tuition). Instruction in English is available in Helsinki and other bigger cities at kindergartens, elementary and secondary schools, as well as at the university level, however many of them require an aptitude test and sometimes entry is competitive.
The Finnish school system is considered one of the best in the world. Finland has been one of the top performers in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an ongoing study administered every three years that tests the math, reading and science literacy of 15-year-olds in OECD nations. Average group sizes in basic education in Finland have for a long time been below the OECD average.
For details about the Finnish education system please visit the Ministry of Education and Culture, which provides greater insight to education at all levels across Finland.
Dependents must accompany the grantee for at least 80% of the period abroad and a minimum of one semester in order to qualify for additional dependent benefits. Dependent benefits are not provided to Flex grantees.
Housing for the scholar is expected to be arranged and paid for by the host institution. This information must be confirmed in the letter of invitation.
The Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki arranges a four-day orientation seminar for scholars at the end of August, which scholars arriving for the fall semester are expected to attend. An orientation meeting is also arranged for scholars arriving in January. In addition, the Fulbright Finland Foundation organizes seminars and other events throughout the academic year for the Fulbright scholars to deepen their understanding of the Finnish culture.
Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State and the Fulbright Commission in the host country reserve the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.
The general country landscape
Finland is a Nordic country the size of California located in northern Europe, and is part of the European Union. It is rather sparsely populated (5.5 million people) and has extensive nature: forests, coastline and lakes.The six largest cities host approximately 60% of the population; urban environments are closely linked to nature. It is a country that has a well-organized and efficient society. The general infrastructure, both public and private services, is considered very effective. Well run public services such as transportation, police, education and healthcare are fundamental and highly regarded parts of the society. The arts and design, cultural life, nature and sports are highly valued. Finland ranks as one of the world’s most stable nations and has been named one of the safest and least corrupt countries in the world, which makes it an easy place to live and travel in.
Finns believe strongly in equality and education, and the country is especially known for its effective and free education system. Finland has two types of higher education institutions: universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS). Finnish higher education institutions engage in world-leading research and offer high-quality academic programs. In relation to its gross domestic product, Finland invests more in research and development than almost any other OECD country. Finnish institutions and researchers are also among the most active scientific publishers in the world. Together with a welcoming and intriguing environment, Finland offers interesting opportunities for American researchers, teachers and professionals. English is widely used at the university level.
The academic year in Finland is based on a two-semester system. The official academic year starts on August 1 and ends on July 31. However, in the fall semester lectures are usually scheduled between September and mid-December, and in the spring semester between early January and May. Typically, there is no teaching during the summer and on public holidays.
Fulbright in Finland
Finland has a strong Fulbright program with a unique history. The program has an important role in supporting the internationalization of education and research in Finland, helping U.S. and Finnish institutions create linkages, and promoting a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States. The program has grown in recent years due to the close cooperation of the Fulbright Finland Foundation with Finnish universities, research institutions, governmental agencies and private foundations, as well as to U.S. and Finnish alumni contributions. Most of the program’s funding currently comes from Finland.
The Fulbright Finland Foundation (the Finnish Fulbright Commission) offers awards to U.S. teachers and scholars to teach or pursue research in Finland. The majority of awards are available to scholars in all disciplines, but some awards are limited to certain fields. In nearly all categories, housing is provided for the grantee.
Awards are also available for professionals for career development.
Candidates interested in applying for an award to Finland are welcome to consult the Fulbright Finland Foundation's website for more information.
The Fulbright Finland Foundation also provides information for Finnish institutions, which applicants are encouraged to utilize when contacting prospective hosts.
Read more about Finland:
Visit the Fulbright Finland Foundation to see grantees from previous years.
Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.